WISEPlace is a First Foundation Inc., (NASDAQ: FFWM), Supporting Our Communities nonprofit partner that received a grant of $25,000 for its work to end homelessness for women.
“We are so grateful for the grant and our partnership with First Foundation,” said Brateil Aghasi, CEO of WISEPlace. “The women of WISEPlace are strong, smart, and employable and most have been forced into homelessness through no fault of their own – divorce, a lost job, illness – and soon found themselves living alone in their cars or outdoors because of the lack of affordable housing. At WISEPlace they can be safe, receive counseling and support, and get back on their feet. Imagine how terrifying it is to be alone and without shelter during a pandemic,” she said. “With COVID-19 driving unemployment and economic distress, vulnerable women need housing and support now more than ever before.”
WISEPlace is the only Orange County-based nonprofit leading the effort to end homelessness for unaccompanied women. It provides women with safe transitional and emergency shelter, counseling and mental health services, case management and addiction recovery, and employment assistance to help rebuild their lives.
The grant from First Foundation in 2019 included not only monetary support, but also professional guidance related to its nonprofit activities, including: fundraising; donor cultivation and stewardship; gift planning design; staff and board training; campaign planning; board building; development of critical policies and protocols; organizational planning; and counsel on ensuring best practices in fiscal matters such as cash management and investment strategies.
WISEPlace has served 8,100 women over its 90-year history. Nearly one in four homeless Americans can be classified as an unaccompanied woman, and those aged 62 or older are the fastest growing homeless population in the United States. WISEPlace is where an adult woman of any age can get the help and support necessary from a dedicated team of case managers, advocates, and counselors. Through its programs, WISEPlace transitions 75% of their clients into stable housing and 81% are able to obtain employment.
“We are pleased that our member First Foundation is using our AHEAD grant program to support WISEplace and the women it serves,” said Marietta Núñez, Senior Vice President and Community Investment Officer at FHLBank San Francisco. “The work that they are doing, providing shelter and much more to give hope to unaccompanied women, is particularly valuable in this uncertain time.”
For more than 90 years, WISEPlace has served more than 8,100 women by providing safe transitional and emergency shelter, counseling and mental health services, case management and addiction recovery, and employment assistance to help rebuild their lives. The nonprofit organization is the only Orange County-based establishment leading the effort to end homelessness for unaccompanied women. Originally established as the South Orange County YWCA, WISEPlace instills hope in women and provides a path to personal stability, so they do not face adversity alone. Most recently, the organization announced a housing development partnership to construct permanent supportive housing while continuing the vital wrap-around services offered to all participants. WISEPlace is headquartered in Santa Ana, California. For more information, visit www.wiseplace.org.
About First Foundation
First Foundation, (NASDAQ: FFWM), a financial institution founded in 1990, provides personal banking, business banking, and private wealth management. The Company has offices in California, Nevada, and Hawaii with headquarters in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit www.firstfoundationinc.com.
About FHLBank San Francisco
FHLBank San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative helping local lenders in Arizona, California, and Nevada strengthen communities, create opportunity, and change lives for the better. The tools and resources we provide to our member financial institutions promote homeownership, expand access to quality housing, and boost economic development. AHEAD grants are awarded annually and delivered through the Bank’s member financial institutions to local community organizations for projects and programs that benefit lower-income and underserved communities.